Alliance visits Western
Massive report to USC tonight
Calgary high school stabbing shocking
Campaign 2000 attacks national children's poverty stats
Top parties surf for votes - Gazette evaluates big party Web sites
Alliance visits Western
By Chris Lackner
No pain, no brain drain.
Nancy Branscombe, the Canadian Alliance candidate for London North Centre and former Alliance leadership contender Tom Long, made a brief visit to Western's campus yesterday to address the "brain drain" issue.
Yet, for the students in attendance, the press conference was brief, short on details and student participation.
"We're the highest taxed nation in the G7 countries," Branscombe said. "Our best and brightest graduates are moving to the United States to find jobs and I think that's a travesty. The Alliance platform is sound fiscal management and reducing taxes. That's what we're proposing to stop the brain drain."
"The tax policies of the federal government are driving some of our most talented professionals out of Canada and we have to reverse that," Long said, adding the Alliance party offers a clear platform of reductions in both personal income tax and capital gains tax.
"Bright young people who graduate from places like [Western] will know that their future should be in Canada," he added. "[The Alliance] will reverse the brain drain and make Canada a magnet for talent."
During a brief media scrum, Long was asked whether a re-investment in health care, research and post-secondary education is a better way to ensure that Canada retains its young talent, as opposed to a tax cut.
"Tax cuts are essential," Long responded. "But you can never solve a problem with only one policy."
Mike Gretes, a second-year biology student at Western, said he felt the Alliance came to the campus for the building photography backdrop, not for its students. "[Branscombe] stood in front of the building," he said. "She could have at least gone inside and engaged in some kind of dialogue with the students."
Sametta Cole, a third-year Western sociology student who was in attendance, said the campaign appearance seemed staged and short on substance. "It was just a smug photo-op pandering to their party agenda," she said.
"If they really wanted to get to the heart of the matter they would have taken the time to talk to the nurses and pre-meds, find out what their problems are and what might lead them to leave [Canada]."
Vice-president of the Society of Graduate Students, Rick Telfer, said cutting taxes would lead to less public money for research, education and health care and could simply push more Canadian graduates across the border to seek economic opportunities.
"It's a scare tactic and a way of diverting attention from what the system really needs," Telfer added.